$12 million project to make Bangladesh more resilient to natural disasters


Bangladesh government and UN agencies have jointly initiated a USD $12 million project to sustain the resilience of human and economic development in Bangladesh through inclusive and gender-responsive disaster management.

The project titled “National Resilience Programme (NRP), was launched on 15 November at a hotel in Dhaka. The programme is co-financed by the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and implemented by the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief (MoDMR), Ministry of Planning (MoP), Ministry of Women and Children Affairs (MoWCA) and the Local Government Division (LGD). The 3-year long programme will provide strategic support in association with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UN Women and United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), to develop national capacity to keep pace with the changing nature of disasters.

Speaking at the launching ceremony as the chief guest, Disaster Management and Relief Minister, Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya said, “National Resilience Programme is a knowledge-based programme which will enhance women leadership for gender-responsive disaster-resilient nation.” He also informed that the NRP will work with the business community to promote risk-informed business continuity plans.

He hoped the newly launched National Launched Programme would further build the capacity of the relevant ministries and increase the resilience to natural disasters.

The ministers called upon all the line ministries and development partners to implement the programme effectively and efficiently for disaster risk reduction, a key feature of the Sendai Framework.

The programme has four parts. The Department of Disaster will focus on disability-inclusive and gender-responsive capacities, while the Programming Division will focus on the capacity for disaster risk-informed planning. The Department of Women will focus on the gender dimension of the programme and the LGED will focus on infrastructure.

Md. Shah Kamal, Secretary, MoDMR in his remarks while presiding over the ceremony said, “To sustain the economic and human development, it’s essential to have strong partnership for inclusive disaster risk reduction plan.” NRP will contribute in achieving national capacities by institutionalizing national volunteer organization, disability inclusive and gender-responsive disaster risk management. In addition to that, the NRP will also contribute for risk-informed development planning for resilience.

Swedish Ambassador to Bangladesh Charlotta Schlyte, said “Bangladesh needs the support of women to fight and adapt to climate change. Being a feminist government, Sweden will continue its support for the vulnerable women in Bangladesh.”

Mia Seppo, UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh, appreciated the current economic growth in Bangladesh but also warned about the adverse impact of climate change, which can pull back the development of the country. “While Bangladesh is on its way to becoming a middle-income country, its exposure to natural hazards, such as floods and earthquakes, is likely to intensify due to climate change, its rapid urbanization, the demographic pressure and the continuous erosion of its land,” Mia said.

“The National Resilience Programme will increase the resilience and reduce disaster risks in terms of loss of lives and livelihoods,” she further added.  

Among others, Kabir Bin Anwar, Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, spoke at the event. Over 200 representatives from different ministries, development partners, INGO, NGOs, research organizations, academic institutions and media were present.

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